Well, actually it hasn't got much to do with Halloween - it's not spooky and it doesn't mention witches or black cats (well, only a little).
Our title is from a quote by H L Mencken, a US journalist of the first half of the 20th Century famed for his pithy comments (more later).
Now, on to business!
This month we have
John Clayton charts from Heritage Crafts
Another re-released Lavender and Lace pattern
New Nora Corbett patterns
A sampler from Needle Work Press
Halloween (there, I've said it) at Hawk Run Hollow
Hardanger kits from Permin
Printed Cross Stitch
What's happening in Canada?
Bargain Basement: Mini-kits
Charts and Patterns
Heritage Crafts have released some of John Clayton's Collections as charts - Dancers, Flights of Fancy, Flower Panels, Internationals and Power and Grace. We are happy to order any of these. The kits are still available should you prefer to work that way.
Lavender and Lace have re-released Spirit of Christmas. Hopefully more of their retired designs will become available again soon.
Miss Cherry Blossom is the latest design by Nora Corbett of Mirabilia Designs «she wanders through a tranquil lush garden ...»
We are collecting Letters from Mermaids by Nora Corbett. There's one for each letter of the alphabet - up to V so far - so we are eagerly awaiting the last four. They are colourful and sparkle with beads. They could be used to make a little girl's name on a door plaque or bunting, as monograms or even a complete alphabet sampler. Plenty of scope for your creativity!
When Anne came across a new pattern from Needle Work Press based on an original sampler by a girl called Jannet Speirs, she couldn't resist buying it. Her grandmother shared a name with this girl and both were Scottish although born a century apart. Anne's grandmother was an accomplished needlewoman knitting, embroidering table cloths and her speciality was crochet but we don't believe she ever worked a sampler!
We finally managed to get copies of Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow a bit late for this year but it's a big project. They've now sold out and we have more on order.
Permin have produced several pretty new small hardanger kits for Christmas a gift card wallet, bookmark, biscornu, pin cushion and scissors case.
Anne has been trying out a printed (as opposed to counted) cross stitch kit from Needleart World. These no-count cross stitch kits have coloured squares some with symbols, printed accurately on Aida blocks with a key along the edge of the fabric. Unlike printed needlepoint canvases where the printed colours match the wools or cottons used, these kits have brightly coloured contrasting printing. When the stitching is complete you wash away the temporary printing leaving only the stitching plus the permanent background. It's colourful and works really well!
The no-count cross stitch kits also have a printed full colour chart which Anne had to refer to sometimes. The Koi Carp project was very successful so we're planning to add more of these to our catalogue.
Stranded Cottons and Dye Lots
Anchor stranded cottons now come with batch numbers on the skein labels, as do DMC stranded cottons. If you place an order for several skeins, we'll try to make sure that they come from the same dye lot.
If you don't live in Canada then you can ignore this section!
A lot of packages to Canada - especially the west - have been severely delayed recently. The east seems largely unaffected. There are conflicting reports as to the cause of the considerable delays but we believe they're due to a new Customs facility at Vancouver into which packages go, never to be seen again. We have been forced to add transit insurance to all Canadian orders but those in the east can claim a refund (but not after despatch!).
We strongly advise customers in the west of Canada not to purchase anything at the moment as delivery times are unacceptably long. We are constantly reviewing the situation and we will remove these restrictions as soon as we are sure the normal, very good service has been resumed.
There are mini kits in our Bargain Basement for November as usual at half their previous low price. All are under six inches or 15 centimetres square and although small are not necessarily easy as some are worked in petit point on fine fabric.
These would make ideal 'stocking fillers' as Christmas sneaks up on us.
And Finally ...
This month's title is inspired by a quote from H L Mencken (1880 - 1956) and is of course nothing to do with Halloween at all:
«A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it.»
We couldn't resist a little witchery and the picture above is called Babayaga by Nimue Fee Main of France which comes in chart and kit formats.
We hope you and yours enjoy your Halloween celebrations. We ourselves will turn out the lights and start looking for that black cat.
Click OK to remove this item or Cancel to keep it in the list
Click OK to empty your shopping cart or Cancel to keep it as it is
Sorry - your shopping cart is full so you can't add any more items.
We have only XITEMSINSTOCK in stock so some of your order may be despatched later. Please contact us if you need more information.
We have only XABSITEMSINSTOCK available. Please contact us if you need more information.
(incl. discount of XLINEDISCOUNT)
(You have just saved XTOTALDISCOUNT!)
You will now be redirected to PayPal's secure checkout page. This may take a few seconds to display. You do not need to create a PayPal account to pay this way.
Please use your browser's bookmark button to add this page to your favourites.
You have selected one or more patterns that you must download yourself to your own computer. IMPORTANT! Please read carefully the page that follows payment for the instructions on downloading (we will also send you an email). Please click OK to confirm that you wish to proceed, or Cancel to return to the cart.
We regret this item is currently unavailable. It is possible that someone else has recently purchased the last one.
Please select a delivery country before proceeding to checkout.
The shopping cart cannot be displayed - you may have an old version of cart software. Please refresh this page or shut down and restart your browser.
We offer a variety of secure payment methods for your safety and convenience:
Mastercard or Visa credit and debit cards
PayPal®, the world's leading on-line payment processor
Cheque Payment (£GBP only)
No-quibble money back guarantee
Telephone supportin UK: 0207-100-3509 in US/Canada: 206-886-0514 International: (+)44-207-100-3509
"I have already received a message that my package has been dispatched and also already received adjustment on shipping cost through Paypal ... You offer incredible service and it is a real pleasure to use your website and to do business with you! Thanks a lot!" - AML, Quebec, Canada
"Thank you so much for all your help. You have been especially prompt in answering my questions and helping me with this purchase - I am very happy with the service you have provided thus far. I have ordered the kit via the link you've provided. Thanks again." - MF, Nevada, United States
"Thank you very much for my three sewing kits that arrived yesterday. I am very impressed with your good service and the trouble you went to with the Lanarte one. I look forward to using you again and recommending you to my stitching friends and family." - CB, United Kingdom
Important - Please Read This! (Latest update 23rd May 2020)
We know how much your crafts matter to you and so we are continuing to work for as long as we can.
The delivery services have been inundated with online purchases and this has led to backlogs of international mail ("It's like two Christmasses at once!").
We are of course wholly dependent on the delivery services and the delays are highly variable - some international (non-UK) packages have taken 2 months to arrive and some have arrived in normal time.
So we ask for your continuing patience in waiting for your package to arrive.
Deliveries to almost all countries are continuing but please visit this page and check your country's status.
We hope you are safe and comfortable and able to enjoy your stitching in these difficult times.